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Regional governments operated roughly half of the required schools—a total of approximately 2,200 in the year 1896, with an enrollment of less than 200,000 (of estimated total Philippine population of seven million). In many areas, Spanish was taught badly or even prohibited. The law made schooling compulsory but local officials did not enforce it and school attendance was small. The pedagogy was very traditional, requiring rote recitation and absolute obedience, and focused strongly on religion.
Supreme Court ruled in Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896) that separate facilities were constitutional so long as they were equal, it was protecting the social fortifications white Americans had erected to maintain imperial hierarchies that education alone could no longer buttress. Justifying Empire Thinking in terms of insiders and outsiders implies that the results are the purpose of schooling. In the case of imperial schooling, however, the results are often secondary to the more immediate problem of justifying the use of force and exploitation in times of expansion.
After the Civil War, the most profound challenge to American society was the integration of the former slave population into American society. Insiders to the empire largely succeeded in terms that did not violate either the triumphant imperial narrative or the dominant social, political, and economic reality in which a caste system replaced overt slavery. Northern victory required schools, which had largely excluded blacks explicitly or implicitly, to develop new methods for preserving the channels of imperial power.